These ominous pictures show volcanic smoke billowing from one of Japan's most active volcanoes, Mount Sakurajima, captured as its erupted for the 500th time this year.
At 5000m, this is the highest plume of ash recorded from the mountain since 1955, and caused darkness and ash falls over the centre of nearby Kagoshima city.
Situated on the southern Japanese main island of Kyushu, the 1,117 metre (3,686 ft) volcano began erupting on the night of August 18, local time.
The images, taken by the Kagoshima Local Meteorological Observatory, show ash pouring from the volcano's summit.
Locals living in the shadow of Sakurajima have been urged to cover up and wear masks as a health and safety measure, but there are no immediate reports of injuries.
Volcanologists believe the mountain may spew out more ash this year than in the previous two decades.
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